Amateur society slick and professional

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Guys And Dolls, Eastbourne Operatic And Dramatic Society, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne.

I LAST saw Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre in London several years ago so I didn’t expect the talented Eastbourne amateur society to be anything like that.

But how wrong I was, this production directed by Nick Reynolds is so slick, so professional it took my breath away.

On the first night, May 22nd they had an unfortunate start when the fire alarm in Devonshire Park Theatre went off and the entire audience were told to leave the theatre and had to stand in the street for half an hour. Luckily it was a warm night but the show started half-an-hour late which meant a very late finish.

But no-one seemed to mind because they were hooked as soon as the curtain went up. Andy Newell’s set designs and the colourful costumes, especially the different coloured suits worn by the crap players were great.

Nikki Leach has a beautiful pure voice and was perfect casting as the innocent Sarah Brown as was Neil Sellman as Sky Masterson. James Bell who has been a member of EODS for over 30 years was also very good as Nathan Detroit.

All the crap players were good but Gareth Brighton stood out for me as Nicely Nicely, especially in the song Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat.

But the star for me was Claire Robinson as Adelaide, she gave a terrific performance both in her singing and dancing. Teresa Smith has put in so much work on the choreography and it showed, I defy any professional company to do better.

There is still time to see Guys and Dolls as it is on until Saturday 26th May, it is well worth a visit.

Amanda Wilkins